Stuck Credit: Vanessa Valdez

Chicago postpunk upstarts Stuck can make tension boil over slowly, and you can feel it all over their 2020 debut, Change Is Bad. In April 2021, they convened at Jamdek Studios to knock out a quick-and-dirty recording, intending its release to renew interest in the band as clubs, promoters, and artists prepared to re-emerge thanks to the mass rollout of vaccinations. That hopefulness warms up the resulting EP, Content That Makes You Feel Good (Exploding in Sound). Front man Greg Obis bellows about the anxiety and toil of engaging with high-speed, mass-produced culture (“Labor Leisure”) with the same clipped indignation he uses to rail against government-funded paramilitary organizations whose resources and power dwarf that of the communities they’re supposed to protect (“City of Police”). Content That Makes You Feel Good torpedoes ahead with punk vigor, and Stuck tackle challenges bigger than themselves in song with a force that telegraphs optimism. If I could sound as energized, focused, and determined as they do while battling the ills that have swirled around my brain throughout the pandemic, I’d feel capable of anything.

Stuck’s new EP, Content That Makes You Feel Good, is available from Exploding in Sound.